Enterprise Keyboard (EKB) is a soft input device that's designed to provide the most productive means possible of inputting data into Zebra devices. Building on the stock Android keyboard, Enterprise Keyboard provides programmable keys, can switch quickly between languages and key layouts, and has the ability to scan barcode data directly into an application using any of the device's scanners.
Enterprise Keyboard (1.1 and higher) can be configured in the following ways:
- Manually on the device
- Remotely using StageNow and the UI Manager service
- Remotely through a company's own enterprise mobility management (EMM) system (if supported by that system)
Enterprise Keyboard makes use of the Android Personal Dictionary for spelling corrections and shortcut substitutions, and permits the dictionary to be easily populated with industry-specific terms to help improve the speed and accuracy of keyboard input. A custom dictionary can be populated in bulk and mass-deployed through Zebra's Mobility Extensions (MX) and StageNow tools.
This version of Enterprise Keyboard includes the following languages:
- English (UK)
- English (US)
- Supports Zebra Workstation Connect (1.4.86) secondary screen (see Usage Notes)
- Supports Managed Configurations for remote configuration using Zebra OEMConfig or other non-proprietary tools
- New Voice-to-Text tab displays a microphone for accepting voice input ¹ ³
- Keyboard default layout height and width are now adjustable on secondary screen ² ³
- Can be upgraded only from EKB 4.0
To upgrade from EKB 3.9 or older, see setup instructions
¹ Supported on Zebra devices running:
• Android 10 with OS image
10-16-10.00-QG-U114-STD-HEL-04 (or later)
• Android 11 with LifeGuard OS Update
11-23-13.00-RG-U00 (or later)
² Requires Zebra Workstation Connect 1.4.86 (or later)
- Support added for Zebra TC53 devices (see Platform Note, below)
See all supported devices
Due to new Android security restrictions, the Zebra TC53 (and forthcoming devices built on the same platform) does not support the adb “push” command, even when the device is in developer mode. The EKD deployment feature for custom layouts is therefore not functional for those devices.
To deploy custom layout files to a TC53 and similar devices, use a desktop file explorer and copy files to:
All versions of Enterprise Keyboard offer these other unique capabilities to help improve the speed and accuracy of input:
Switch layouts with taps or swipes across the keypad:
The Tab bar can be set to automatically hide away, maximizing screen space for applications.
Scan directly with the Barcode tab to collect data where and when it's needed:
The scan tab displays a scanner button for in-app data acquisition from barcode(s).
Input long-press characters with a finger-flick of the main key:
High-contrast key colors are visible in all lighting conditions.
Quickly page through selected languages using the "globe" key:
Design custom key layouts easily with six (6) remappable keys:
Shown here with the EMOJI key (upper two layouts) and other default key assignments.
View the keyboard indoors or out thanks to a specially designed color scheme:
Stock Android keyboard:
- Now available on Google Play and the Zebra support portal
- Compatible with devices running Android 11 and 10 ONLY
- Device OS image (BSP) required. More info.
- Revised Setup instructions reflect changes listed below
- Revised deployment instructions reflect the new processes and restrictions
A device OS image (BSP) update is required to run Enterprise Keyboard.
For Android 10:
For Android 11:
- EKB 4.0 and subsequent versions will have the following package name:
- New package name:
- Previous package name:
- New package name:
- Previous EKB versions (with the old package name) cannot be upgraded to EKB 4.0.
EKB versions prior to 4.0 must be uninstalled, which removes EKB fixed keyboard layouts and any previously deployed custom layout files.
Android does NOT support upgrading an app to a newer version delivered under a different package name. About deployment.
- All new features and device support will be added to EKB 4.0 (and later) and delivered under the new package name.
Previous versions and package names are deprecated.
- Software, systems and files containing the prior EKB package name must be updated with the new package name.
These might include, but are not limited to:
- Any "allowlist" or "whitelist" such as those created with AccessMgr
- Intents that launch Enterprise Keyboard
- StageNow Profiles used to install any version prior to EKB 4.0
- EMM systems used to install any version prior to EKB 4.0
- Any hard-coded instance of the string "
Why Change the Package Name?
In compliance with Google policy, the package name of the public version of Enterprise Keyboard was changed to differentiate it from the private version previously released on Google Play.
- EKB 4.0 now targets Android API level 30, which imposes the following storage restrictions:
- External storage is no longer accessible, including SD Card.
- Custom layout files (if used) (i.e.
[LayoutProjectName.encrypted]) must be re-deployed to:
- Now supports Zebra devices running Android 11
- Support ends for devices running Android 9.x (Pie) and earlier
- Support added for the Zebra WT6300 running Android 10
- The shift key now behaves according to Android conventions: single-tapping the shift key outputs the next key-press as upper-case and subsequent presses as lower case; double-tapping activates "caps lock,” and all characters that follow are output in upper-case. Single-tapping a caps-locked shift key releases the lock.
New RepeatKeys feature causes a specified keyCode to be repeated when long-pressing the key.
New Macros feature can combine multiple keyCodes, presses or Actions into a single key-press Action.
Enterprise Keyboard Designer now includes predeveloped sample layouts, which can be downloaded and deployed immediately or customized to suit the needs of an enterprise.
NOTE: New features in EKB 3.9 must be implemented using Enterprise Keyboard Designer 1.9 or later. For more information about new EKB 3.9 features, please refer to the Enterprise Keyboard Designer usage guide.
Beginning with EKB 3.9, an MDNA Enterprise license is required to use Enterprise Keyboard on Zebra Professional-series devices, including the TC21 and TC26. These devices arrive with a non-functional EKB “dummy” client, which must be replaced with the functional EKB v3.9 (or later) client after purchasing a Zebra MDNA Enterprise license. When unlicensed, EKB displays a “license required” prompt (see below) whenever app focus comes to a text input box, but is otherwise fully functional.
Learn more about MDNA licensing.
Click image to enlarge, ESC to exit.
- Now supports Zebra devices running Android 10
- Beginning with v3.9, EKB no longer supports devices running Android 7.x Nougat.
- Android Multi-user mode is no longer supported.
Please see the supported device list for more information.
Enterprise Keyboard can now display Canned text responses in a drop-down list as specified in Enterprise Keyboard Designer 1.4 (or later). When selected from the list, the Canned response is sent to the focused input field as if typed in manually. See the Enterprise Keyboard Designer user guide to learn more.
A keyboard layout created in Enterprise Keyboard Designer 1.4 (or later) can be set as the default layout for the device, and to automatically appear whenever an input field receives focus.
For more information about these new EKB 3.4 features, please refer to the Enterprise Keyboard Designer user guide.
- Dynamically Switching Keyboards | Implementation details and sample code by Zebra engineering
- Exploring the Enterprise Keyboard API | Working with EKD-made Layouts by Zebra engineering
No devices were added to or removed from the supported device list.
- Can be loaded as a user app onto any supported device.
- Supports custom key layouts created with Enterprise Keyboard Designer, Zebra's all-new desktop tool for Windows.
- New EKB API guide details the usage of custom key layouts.
- Now supports devices running Android 9.2 Pie.
- No longer supports devices running Android 6.x Marshmallow, 5.x Lollipop, 4.x KitKat.
Support added for the following Zebra devices:
- Running Android 9.x Pie:
- Running Android 8.x Oreo:
Two remappable keys have been added to the fixed keyboard layout, which now provides a total of six remappable keys.
EKB 2.2 now comes pre-installed on the following additional Zebra devices running Android 8.x Oreo:
EKB 2.1 comes pre-installed on the following Zebra devices running Android 8.x Oreo:
EKB 2.0 comes pre-installed on the following Zebra devices running Android 8.x Oreo:
- TC51 Healthcare
- TC56 Healthcare
See all supported Zebra devices.
- Escape key support - allows the ESC key to be remapped to an ASCII or Unicode character or to an EMOJI symbol or to function normally. About key remapping.
- Multi-user Mode - supports deployment of Primary and Secondary Users, the latter of which are blocked from making EKB settings changes on the device. Supported only on SDM660-platform devices running Android 8.x Oreo.
- Auto-capitalization now works properly after navigating away from the alpha keyboard prior to typing.
- Keyboard pop-ups no longer disappear when swiping from alpha to symbol layouts and back.
NOTICE: Enterprise Keyboard comes preinstalled on Zebra devices running Android 7.x Nougat and higher. For supported pre-Nougat devices, EKB is added as a LifeGuard patch. See download page for more information.
EKB 1.8 adds support for (and comes preinstalled on) the following devices:
- WT6000 N
- The Symbol Key P1 can be remapped to an ASCII or Unicode character or to an EMOJI symbol.
- The Text Correction suggestion bar remains visible whenever voice input key is enabled, even if no corrections are suggested.
- If voice input is disabled, correction suggestions (if enabled) appear only when typing.
- Personalized suggestion and Next Word suggestion features have been removed
(Text Correction suggestion and other Personal Dictionary features are unaffected).
Enterprise Keyboard 1.7 comes pre-installed on Zebra devices running Android 7.x Nougat and higher.
EKB 1.7 is certified on the following Zebra devices running Android 7.x Nougat:
- TC51 Healthcare
- TC56 Healthcare
For more information and device options, see the download page.
New settings in the Preferences panel:
Navigation controls the means of navigating between keyboard layouts. "Tabs" mode permits switching layouts by swiping across a layout (to bring up the adjacent one) or tapping directly on the desired layout tab. The tab bar is visible at all times except when word corrections (if enabled) are being displayed. "Keys" mode permits keys to be used for switching layouts. Such keys are typically in the lower-left corner of the layout.
Tab configuration allows a user or administrator to enable or disable the numeric, alphanumeric, symbol and/or scan key-layout tab(s), hiding them from view and preventing display of the corresponding layout.
Select prefer tab causes the selected tab to appear whenever EKB is invoked.
Navigation and Tab configuration features are supported only on devices with MX 7.1 and higher.
See the EKB 1.6 download page for a list of supported devices.
New device support:
- MC40 KK
- TC55 KK
- TC75x KK, L, M
- TC8000 L
- WT6000 L
The downloadable soft keyboard was certified for use on the following Zebra devices running Android 6.x Marshmallow:
Support for MX 6.3 and the "Loadable" Personal Dictionary, which can be bulk-loaded from a file of custom terms.
Support for the Zebra ET50 and ET55 tablet devices running Android.
See the EKB 1.3 download page for a complete list of supported devices.
A Calculator Mode arranges numerical keys for input with financial apps:
A Telephone Mode arranges numerical keys like a phone:
New portrait layouts cater to tablets and wearables such as the ET50/ET55 and WT6000:
A Flick Enable/Disable switch simplifies control of this time-saving input feature:
Supports dynamic selection of text- and scan-tab focus to match the desired input: